Remember when coach Pete Carroll said after the bye week that the Seahawks had good fortune with health? Never mind.
An offensive line battered by St. Louis was weakened further Friday by news that RG J.R. Sweezy and TE Luke Willson were declared out of Sunday’s game at Arizona because of concussions. Additionally, LT Russell Okung was listed as doubtful because of a calf strain that kept him out of the Rams game.
That means the Seahawks will be without their two most veteran line starters. Starting at left tackle again is Alvin Bailey, who struggled against the Rams’ pressure. At right guard will be either veteran Lem Jeanpierre or Mark Glowinski, a rookie who has had one scrimmage play this season but saw action on special teams in nine games.
Coach Pete Carroll refused Friday to announce his choice.
“You’ve got to wait and see on that one,”Carroll told reporters after practice. “It’ll be a moment of drama.”
Regarding Sweezy’s concussion, which was not brought up after Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Rams, Carroll said the player offered up nothing until practice Wednesday.
“I was just watching him and he just looked different,” Carroll said. “I asked trainers to take a look at him, and we started to talk to him, and he definitely had concussion symptoms that he didn’t recognize and didn’t report.”
Carroll was asked if the absences of Okung and Sweezy would affect his plans for playing QB Russell Wilson.
“No,” he said.
Bailey is usually the backup at guard as well as tackle, and Jeanpierre backs up at guard and center. Jeanpierre has played in 62 games for Seattle since 2011, including 11 starts, but the Seahawks may not want to move him out of the backup center spot.
Glowinski, 23, the Seahawks’ fourth-round pick out of West Virginia, may get thrown in as the starter.
“He’s a real battler,” Carroll said. “He’s a very technique-sound kid and he’s got a chance to help us. I’m really excited about him getting a chance to play. It’s the maximum challenge for the guy, but he’s tough and he’s done a lot of cool things since he’s been here.”
At tight end, Cooper Helfet likely gets the starting call with newcomer Chase Coffman as the backup.
Some good Seahawks health news: Carroll said he “anticipates” RB Marshawn Lynch to return to practice Monday.
“The latest update today is that he’s doing really well and he’s done about all he can do at that end of it,” Carroll said. “So it’s great to hear. We’ll see what that means here in the next couple of days. He’s having the kind of success in the workouts not setting him back.”
Encouraging news came earlier in the week via Fox Sports, which had an exclusive interview with Tariq Azim, the trainer supervising Lynch’s rehab at Empower Gym in the Bay Area.
“Things are going really well,” Azim said Tuesday. “Obviously, his first day returning back to home base at Empower, it was a little different. He came here kind of showing me what he was able to do. It was very minimal movement, very minimal activity. I just spent the first day doing about two or three different sessions together really assessing the capacity.
“It really didn’t take long for me to see a lot of this had to do with getting comfortable with the discomfort of the operation, the discomfort of something that has never been done before to him. He’s never had an operation before.”
Lynch won’t play Sunday but things look better for the first playoff game Jan. 9-10.
“Right now, Marshawn is in a place where he could run around anybody if he wanted to,” Azim said. “Physically in the last two weeks, we’re doing two-a-days and three-a-days every day, and then you’ve got his physical therapy.
“So he’s literally here between eight and ten hours a day with me in some fashion. Right now, I can confidently tell you he can run around anybody.”
The key of course, is running through tacklers.
“In a couple of days from now, if he can just build on the confidence that he’s acquired in the last week here, he’ll be able to run through everybody confidently,” Azim said. “He’s got the confidence to run around people, but Beast Mode runs through people. That’s what we want to finalize. He’s not far from that at all.”
Regarding Sunday, DE Michael Bennett is listed as probable after getting an injection in his chronically sore big toe earlier in the week. SS Kam Chancellor seems recovered from a tailbone bruise.
“He made it through the week and looked good,” Carroll said. “He’s got a chance to play in the game.”